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Meet the Chef: Richard Kalman Brings 45 Years of Experience to Tampa Convention Center

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By Kirstin Albert, Communications Coordinator - Tampa Convention Center

Executive Chef Richard Kalman is leading the Aramark culinary team at Tampa Convention Center. Aramark is the exclusive provider of all food, beverage, and catering services for the venue.

Chef Richard has 45 years of experience and is known in the food industry as a talented scratch chef. He joined the culinary team at Tampa Convention Center in July 2022.

The chef and his team work with Tampa Convention Center clients to create innovative catering and concession menus for their events. Each menu can be customized to the event theme and preferences.

“We really go out of our way to make the client happy and we believe in going that extra yard and making it a phenomenal experience,” Chef Richard said. “That’s our whole goal here, to wow them. And we have a dynamite staff that does that.”

Chef Richard says he is able to cater to all types of dietary restrictions and cuisines.

“The other thing we do well here is we do a lot of nice vegetarian dishes, which is hard to do,” Chef Richard said. “We do a tofu tower that’s really nice and we do a grilled avocado. So we do a couple of different things that are interesting. We appeal to everybody, we have gluten-free, we have vegan, we have vegetarian, we take care of everyone.”

He said one thing that drew him to Tampa Convention Center is the ability to be creative.

“That’s one thing that brought me here. The creativity to do neat stuff that you don’t get to do a lot of the time,” he said.

Chef Richard began his culinary career at The Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City working across all cuisines and catering. His first Executive Chef position was at Mt. Pocono Caesar’s Resorts and Starwood Hotels.

He also served as the Executive Chef at the Millville Racetrack and PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union, where his team was awarded a Silver Spoon Award.

Most recently, Chef Richard worked for Compass and Unidine.